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Neill O’Reilly

Neill O'Reilly

Neill O’Reilly is the Principal of Waitākiri School in the East of Christchurch. Neill speaks regularly around New Zealand on a range of topics including self-regulated learners, aspiring leadership, home school partnerships and, more recently, earthquake readiness.

Waitākiri School was created through the merger of Burwood and Windsor Schools. Both schools were affected by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated much of Christchurch. Burwood was one of the hardest hit areas with over 50% of the school zone designated "Red Zone” and a loss to the school roll in excess of 200 children.

Despite the challenges of merging the two sites (a new roll of 800 children, uncertainty around staff jobs, a new school plan, and some major roadworks) 2014 saw children make positive progress with their learning and express a sense of well-being.

Neill is passionate about schools being genuine learning communities; places where children love to learn, play, and be challenged.

The new school has been designed with foundations of sustainability, future focus, 21st century learners and community.

See the new plans for Waitākiri School.

Neill’s session: Why become a leader?

Because you can make a difference in the lives of children. If you want to make the place you work a better place for children's learning you will have to capture the heart and mind of your team. This workshop will explore some of the challenges you may face and together we will work through some options to engage your team to make school an even better place for our children!

Steve Mouldey

Steve Mouldey

Steve is Specialised Learning Leader at Hobsonville Point Secondary School in Auckland, but is probably better known as @GeoMouldey on twitter.

As a 2015 CORE eFellow, a scholarship programme that supports educators to pursue an area of future-focused inquiry in their school, Steve is also investigating the effectiveness of design thinking for student learning.

Read more about Steve’s experiences as part of the foundation staff creating a new secondary school on his blog: Emergent Reflections of a Secondary Teacher

Steve’s session: Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a process that enables creative thinking to occur. Starting from a stage of immersion and exploration, it helps you build empathy for a situation, find the core problem and then design, prototype and iterate your solutions. At Hobsonville Point Secondary School we have used Design Thinking to create our school structures, as a pedagogical approach and for strategic planning. This session will introduce you to Design Thinking and give you a chance to discover how you could apply this approach within your own schools.

Tahu Paki

Tahu Paki

Kia mau ki tēnā kia mau tonu ki te kawau mārō, whanake ake whanake ake! Tahu Paki was born and raised in Christchurch. He has whakapapa links to Ngāti Maniapoto in the King Country and Ngāpuhi in the Hokianga Harbour.

Tahu is a Māori Medium Facilitator at CORE Education. He leads the Te Reo o te Kaiako PLD provision and the Ki te Angitutanga - Māori Medium Programmes for Students supplementary support programme as well as supporting both the Te Reo Māori in Māori Medium and the Learning with Digital Technologies PLD provisions.

Tahu began his teaching career as a Wharekura teacher in Kura Kaupapa Māori before teaching all levels in Immersion Units within mainstream settings in the South Island. Along this journey, Tahu has had many leadership roles including the development of marau ā-kura (place-based curriculum documents), literacy and maths leader and tutoring kapa haka groups.

Tahu is passionate about all facets of Māori Medium Education, in all sectors — teaching, learning, and researching how to help Māori children achieve and succeed. Tahu has recently presented at the St Louis Immersion Schools Conference in Missouri USA, CORE Educations Breakfast Seminars and the U-Learn e-learning education conferences. As part of his work with CORE, Tahu has recorded a number of podcasts around effective language teaching and learning.

Tahu’s session: Mahia te mahi! Māori leadership models! 

In Tahu’s session he will share his thoughts about what leadership looks like in a Māori medium context, what are the attributes and qualities of a rangatira and how these dispositions can be transferred into effective leadership roles. Tahu will explore culturally responsive practices and how these can support and accelerate Māori student achievement.

Andrew Cowie and Joanne Robson

Andrew Cowie

Andrew Cowie

Andrew is Future Focused and e-Learning Facilitator at CORE Education. He is a Digital Citizenship development specialist with a background in teaching at primary, intermediate, and secondary levels. His most recent role was with the National Library of New Zealand as a Services to Schools Learning Futures Specialist where he collaborated with school leaders and developed programmes around digital literacy and citizenship.

Andrew’s other areas of expertise include leadership, e-learning, innovation, and parenting in the 21st century.

Andrew believes in bringing together the best people to achieve the learning outcomes for a collective good; that communication of a high standard, paired with a strong purpose and vision, enables excellence.

Joanne Robson

Joanne Robson

Jo is a Future Focused Education Facilitator at CORE Education. She is an experienced, innovative middle leader and educator, with over 15 years curriculum and pastoral experience.

As a foundation member of the first purpose-built Junior High School in Albany, Jo held the position of Head of Learning Area English for 10 years. This included TLR Library, and the implementation of school wide literacy.

As a classroom practitioner, she worked to create a Modern Learning Environment within a traditional classroom setting, using practice and pedagogy to empower learners.

Jo’s strengths are working collaboratively to motivate and empower staff to promote excellence in teaching, leading, and learning - alongside setting high standards for all learners. She has experience teaching across several curriculum areas and is very familiar with NCEA, National Standards, Literacy Progressions and the New Zealand Curriculum.

Obtaining First Class Honours in the Master of Educational Leadership and Management focusing on ‘Appraisal of Middle Leaders’ has equipped Jo with critical skills in areas such as utilising productive dialogue and effective appraisal practice.

Jo regularly writes about her experiences on her blog: eMPOWERed: Empowering educators, leaders, and learners — one blog at a time.

You can find Jo on Twitter @eMPOWERedNZ 

Andrew and Jo’s session: Modern Learning Practice & Student Agency

Student agency is a key component of modern learning practice. This session will explore future focused ideas and research related to student agency and its ability to inform a variety of learning settings within a modern learning environment. There will be an opportunity to share practices that support student agency, alongside case studies of agency in action.

Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne

Mark is Senior Consultant at CORE Education specialising in Modern Learning Environments and Practice, and building leadership capacity.

Mark’s mission is to help schools become awesomeness incubators and he has worked with dozens of schools to help them build new learning spaces, and retrofit existing ones, to support learning that is truly future-focused.

Mark also founded Emerging Leaders - Aotearoa, a group of several hundred educators who are committed to growing leadership capacity across the sector and fostering innovation in the profession. He is also currently completing his PhD on leadership in modern learning environments, at the University of Melbourne.

You can find Mark on Twitter @mosborne01.

Mark’s sessions: Leading Change Effectively

If the rate of change within your organisation doesn't match the rate of change outside it, you're slipping further behind with every passing day. But there's a big difference between knowing you need to lead change and leading it effectively. Outside of trial and error (which can be painful and may leave people less ready for change next time around) what are the key features of effective change leadership? How do you implement change in a way that has people on the bus rather than under it?

Barbara Cavanagh

Barbara Cavanagh

Barbara is the foundation principal of Albany Senior High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She started her teaching career as an English and Drama teacher and she has taught in a wide range of schools including Northcote College in Auckland and Fairfield College in Hamilton.

Barbara has had two previous principalships - at Ngaruawahia High School and Te Awamutu College, both in the Waikato. She is passionate about education, has worked on many of the professional bodies that mentor and support teachers and principals and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of establishing the first state funded senior high school in New Zealand. Barbara has a strong commitment to developing the talent that every student brings to the school to fully prepare them for the next stage of their lives. This commitment extends to developing the talents of the staff to ensure that Albany Senior High School continues to grow the educational leaders of the future.

Currently Barbara is a member of the Ministerial cross-sector forum. She is co-chairing the Leadership work stream and she is chairing the National Professional Learning and Development Review.

Barbara’s session:

Here is a professional inquiry model that will challenge the way you think, support your growth as a teacher, interrupt your preconceived ideas about your students, change the way you plan. Over the last 5 years we have been constantly working on, refining, and reconsidering a model that we now believe is coming closer to really challenging us and making a difference for us. We look forward to presenting this model to you and to getting your feedback.